Match Report: Mixed weekend for the men as they split double header

Team Solent Kestrels 84-55 Ipswich Basketball

NBL Division 2

Southampton Solent University

Ipswich Basketball 94-76 Cardiff Met Archers

NBL Division 2

Copleston Sports Centre

Ipswich Basketball’s Senior Men followed up a disappointing loss with a rebound victory as they were in double-header action again this weekend.

Playing their eight and ninth fixtures in the last six weekends, Adam Robinson’s side produced an uncharacteristically disjointed offensive performance in Saturday’s match-up at Solent, which saw the Suffolk side score just 19 points across the second and third quarters combined.

12 first-half points from Joel Keeble kept Ipswich afloat in the early going, and they had trailed by just five at 22-17 after the first quarter. By the end of the third, however, that gap had ballooned to 33 points and the game was long decided as a contest.

Elias Poorman and Kai Walker paced a balanced attack for Solent, while only Keeble and Jake Eynon were able to reach double figures for Ipswich.

Young guard Ben Michaels was able to get some minutes for the Mens team this weekend (Photo: Pavel Kricka)

Robinson’s squad came into Sunday’s matchup with Cardiff looking to not only right the wrongs of Saturday’s performance but also avenge their October defeat in Wales. As near to a full-strength side as Ipswich has had this season was able to cruise to a comfortable 18-point victory, as Eynon rediscovered his shooting touch to lead all scorers with 37.

Having trailed by 20 at 66-46 early in the second half, Cardiff, also on the back end of a double-header, were able to claw their way back through disciplined rebounding and strong free-throw shooting. The Archers brought the gap back to single figures on a couple of occasions, but this time Ipswich had all the offensive tools to maintain their advantage.

Lee Hodges and Luke Mascall-Wright, who had both missed Saturday’s journey, combined for 35 points and 25 rebounds even while Hodges battled early foul trouble.

On a weekend where Ipswich largely treaded water in the Division 2 standings, the largest long-term impact may have been to squad depth, as guards Will Ashby and Steve Hemmings both sustained injuries which may see them absent until 2022.

Ipswich are at home again this weekend as they welcome Greenwich Titans to Copleston (Saturday, 6.00pm tip-off). The Titans have made an impressive 5-1 start to the season and will be looking to keep up the pressure on undefeated league leaders Westminster Warriors, while Ipswich will be looking to build on their 4-3 record.